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Pink and Shovel (1978)

5.3
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The Pink Panther, who lives in a small, rundown shack in the middle of the city, finds a five dollar bill. He gets so afraid of thieves, he decides to bury the bill in the ground. Later he ... See full summary »

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Storyline

The Pink Panther, who lives in a small, rundown shack in the middle of the city, finds a five dollar bill. He gets so afraid of thieves, he decides to bury the bill in the ground. Later he finds out that a hotel has been erected on the very spot where the bill was hidden. He sneaks into the hotel when a janitor arrives, and starts looking for the right spot to start digging. Written by jan-wiberg <JanWibergE@netscape.net>

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25 November 1978 (USA)  »

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Aarteenetsintä  »

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Follows Prefabricated Pink (1967) See more »

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Colourful and Pinky is as engaging and relatable as ever but low on laughs and dull in plot
25 January 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The 1978 Pink Panther cartoons were hit-and-miss, leaning towards underwhelming(when compared to the pre-1975 cartoons) but not terrible. Pink Arcade and Sprinkle Me Pink are the best of the batch and two of the standouts of the post-1975 cartoons, with Cat and the Pinkstalk and particularly the pointless Pinkologist the weakest and two of the worst of the whole series. Pink and Shovel is in the underwhelming-but-not-terrible category and neither among the best or worst.

Pinky, or Pink Panther, himself makes the cartoon, he always was a cool, likable character and he still is here(though he has been much funnier before, Pink and Shovel does not show off his comic timing), I also felt really sorry for him here especially in the latter half of the cartoon. While the animation is still not perfect, some of the backgrounds are still rather sparse and limited, Pink and Shovel is still one of the better-looking 1978 Pink Panther cartoons, there are plenty of vibrant colours and is more smooth-looking and less flat-looking than most of the 1978 batch. Pinky's bright character design blends far better than most post-1975 Pink Panther cartoons where he looked too overly bright in the flat and simplistic backgrounds that too many of the post-1975 cartoons showed. Pink and Shovel is also one of the better-scored 1978 Pink Panther cartoons, the theme tune is a classic and the scoring is thankfully less in-your-face, less repetitive and has more of a jazzy vibe than most of them. It also does have shades of the subtle slinky style of the pre-1975 Pink Panther cartoons which most of the other 1978 cartoons did not.

Unfortunately, the story while having a decent idea is very thin, with not quite enough to sustain the nearly 7 minute running time, and in places drawn out, Pinky's attempts to find the dollar note has too much repetition and not enough variation. It also gets very predictable after the second time of Pinky counting to 100. Pacing did have a tendency to be rushed and over-stuffed in the 1978 Pink Panther cartoons, here it's the opposite effect that Pink and Shovel really could have done with more oomph and lustre. Pink and Shovel is also rather low on laughs, in fact it's almost humourless and perhaps takes the concept a little too seriously, it's because of this that the pacing was lacking. While the ending is somewhat appropriate you feel so sympathetic towards Pinky here that it would have been better to show whether he found it or not. Maybe a supporting character could have helped, it's always amusing if a touch formulaic to see Pinky fighting with another character and how they interact together, Pinky is a compelling character but perhaps not quite enough to be in a basically one-man-show.

All in all, colourful, well-scored and sympathetic with an engaging Pinky but rather humourless and narratively lacking. Around the low-middle of the overall Pink Panther series. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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